Karamea Historical Society

The Karamea Historical Society Inc administers the Karamea Centennial Museum, built in 1974 to celebrate 100 years of settlement and schooling in Karamea

The museum showcases Karamea’s heritage from its early beginnings millions of years ago, which we can now see fossilized in stone in the Oparara Valley, down through eons of time to the beginning of human habitation in the fourteenth century, when early Polynesian settlements  flourished at the Heaphy and Karamea River mouths. European explorers followed by goldminers arrived in the 1800s, and in 1874 the first government sponsored  ‘special settlement’ was established. Karamea was on its way!

Determination, independence and courage, inherent qualities typically found in small rurally isolated communities such as Karamea, have brought the district into the 21st century as a  successful dairying area, supported by growing horticultural and tourism industries. Extractive industries have come and gone, and the district survived destructive earthquakes and floods.

The gutsy stories of our people are all documented in the museum, which holds a superb photographic  record as well as an extensive map and archival collection. Information on logging and goldmining, shipping, dairying, Maori and social history, schooling, geology and genealogy, is all available for the asking!

Hours vary depending on the time of year. Check with the local Information Centre, 03 7826 652, for opening times.


Enquiries to: Dulcie McNabb info@karameainfo.co.nz Phone 03 782 6652

Click to view images from Karamea Historical Society